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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

LIVE | Najib recites 'sumpah laknat' again, denies knowledge of RM42m

Malaysiakini

LIVE | The verdict of the criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged abuse of power and money laundering of 1MDB funds will be delivered today at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Najib recites 'sumpah laknat' again, denies knowledge of RM42m
  • Prosecution seeks RM420m fine, imprisonment
  • Prosecutor tips hat at the press for exposing scandal
  • Case law submissions
  • We don't mind standing in the rain for 'Bossku', say hardcore supporters
  • No intention to return RM42m, submits prosecution
  • Prosecution wants sentence for 'worst case imaginable'
  • 99.9pct of money not used for Najib himself - Shafee
  • Najib's only at fault in trusting people, says Shafee
  • Najib has cooperated with investigators since 2015 - Shafee
  • Only a handful of Najib's supporters left outside court complex
  • Judge disallows defence's application
  • Najib's defence wants mitigation to be postponed
  • Najib guilty of all seven charges
  • Najib didn't send King Abdullah 'thank you' note
  • Accused did not confirm 'donation' with Saudis
  • Far-fetched to claim Najib conned by Jho Low, says judge
  • Najib didn't take action over non-return of RM42m, judge rules
  • Gathering of Najib's supporters sparks Covid-19 fears

Najib recites 'sumpah laknat' again, denies knowledge of RM42m
5.30pm - After the defence and prosecution completed their submissions for mitigation, Najib addresses the court.
He begins with summarising his economic achievements during his tenure as prime minister.
"I ensured a fairer and gentler society. I was responsible for abolishing the ISA (Internal Security Act), which I was never given enough credit for. I wanted to ensure the country would not (be subjected to) abuse of power.
"In this regard, I put (forward) a proposal to implement a more transparent system for political donations. That proposal, unfortunately, requires bipartisan support, but the opposition at the time did not agree and the proposal did not see the light of day," he says.
He ends his brief statement by reciting a "sumpah laknat" before declaring that he did not solicit RM42 million.
"I did not plan (the receipt of) RM42 million nor was RM42 million offered. There was no evidence or witnesses to state so.
"I had no knowledge of the RM42 million. Wallahu, Wabillahi, Watallahi," he adds.

Prosecution seeks RM420m fine, imprisonment
5.25pm - The prosecution is requesting a RM210 million fine for the abuse of power offence, approximately five times the amount involved in the crime, and mandatory jail term.
As for the crime of criminal breach of trust, the prosecution is seeking a jail term of between two and 20 years as well as a fine, at the discretion of the court.
For the money laundering charge, the prosecution is seeking a jail term of not more than 15 years and a RM210 million fine, approximately five times the amount involved in the crime.

Prosecutor tips hat at the press for exposing scandal
4.50pm - Lead prosecutor Sithambaram submits during the mitigation hearing that if not for the press, the crime for which Najib has been convicted of may not have been detected.
He argues that there was complex layering in how the RM42 million was transferred into the accused's bank accounts.
"The (money laundering) offence is made possible only by the accused's role and position as prime minister and finance minister.
"If not for the exposure of the crimes by the press, this crime may have never been detected," he says.

Case law submissions
4.45pm - Lead prosecutor Sithambaram is now submitting various case laws to support his arguments against those submitted by the defence.
He brings up cases involving Harun Idris, Dr Khir Toyo, Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim.
"Politicians contributed a lot to legal learning of our jurisprudence," says Sithambaram, while chuckling.

We don't mind standing in the rain for 'Bossku', says hardcore supporters
4.40pm - It has started to drizzle at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex where Najib has been convicted of criminal charges related to SRC International.
However, a small group of around 30 hardcore supporters of the Pekan MP continue to stand in front of the complex's main entrance, braving the rain.
This includes a group of women believed to be members of Wanita Umno, who say they don't mind standing in the rain for "Bossku".

No intention to return RM42m, submits prosecution
4.15pm - The prosecution points out that there was no attempt to restitute the RM42 million.
Sithambaram submits that the money belongs to SRC International and Minister of Finance Incorporated.
"The excuse given was that investigations were underway. But even after the (then) attorney-general (Apandi Ali) cleared him of wrongdoing, still no steps were taken to return the money.
"It is abundantly clear there was no intention to return the money - RM42 million which came from KWAP.
"This case tarnished the country as a kleptocracy. I don't think Malaysians deserve that," he argues.

Prosecution wants sentence for 'worst case imaginable'
4.08pm - The prosecution is now replying to the defence's mitigation statement.
Sithambaram submits that the accused held the most powerful offices in Malaysia for nearly a decade as finance minister and prime minister.
"The accused owed a fiduciary and moral duty to discharge his obligations to the people.
"This conviction shows he failed in that respect," says the lawyer.
In view of this, Sithambaram wants the court to use this case as a precedent to those who hold public office that no one is above the law.
A deterrent sentence, argues Sithamabram, must be the paramount consideration and the duty of the court is to give effect to the purpose of the MACC Act 2009.
"In this case, the sentence should look at a sentence reserved for the worst case imaginable.
"This is certainly one case," says Sithambaram, while emphasising that RM42 million was involved.

99.9pct of money not used for Najib himself - Shafee
3.50pm - The defence team informs the court that the accused will make a statement to the court after the prosecution team replies to the defence's submission for mitigation.
3.30pm - Shafee notes that 99.9 percent of the money utilised by the accused was not for himself.
"That is great mitigation," he declares.
He says 45 percent of the funds was spent for political purposes, which also included welfare and other services. Charity groups received around 13.7 percent.
While noting that 0.4 percent of the funds was spent on credit card bills, the money was used to buy gifts for foreign dignitaries.
"(The accused said) the gifts were quite expensive and he could not give a basket of kain selendang (shawl)," he adds.

Najib's only at fault in trusting people, says Shafee
3.20pm - Shafee also submits that the accused is not a corporate person and expected the board of directors of SRC International and 1MDB to be professional.
"If he was at fault, he was only at fault in trusting people that ought to run the company - 1MDB as well as SRC International.
"In certain instances, he overtrusted," he adds.

Najib has cooperated with investigators since 2015 - Shafee
3.15pm - In mitigation, Shafee submits that the accused cooperated with the investigators since 2015 and initiated the Public Accounts Committee's investigations into 1MDB and SRC International.
"In all these investigations by a body like Parliament, (there was) not a hint of witness tampering," he says.

Only a handful of Najib's supporters left outside court complex
3.15pm - As the SRC International case proceedings continue with the mitigation of sentences against Najib, only a handful of his supporters are seen in front of the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex to show their support.
There were several thousands of them earlier but many have dispersed after being ordered to adhere to social distancing rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Judge disallows application to postpone mitigation
3.05pm - Mohd Nazlan disallows the application by Najib's defence to postpone the mitigation process to Monday and wants to continue now.
Shafee puts on record that he is "crippled" because he is unable to explain the verdict nor take instructions from the accused.

Lead prosecutor: Court is duty-bound to pass sentence upon conviction
2.50pm - Lead prosecutor V Sithambaram objects to the application for an adjournment and argues that Section 183 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states that the court is duty-bound to pass a sentence upon conviction.
He further argues that the status of the accused on bail previous to conviction is different from a status post-conviction.
"If your Lordship intends to allow a stay, additional terms should be imposed," says Sithambaram (below).

- Mkini

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